For those of you that have never wondered where Halloween originated or why we celebrate it, you're not alone. I really hadn't contemplated it until today. I was teaching an ESL class and a student asked, "Is today a holiday?" When I said it was Halloween the student, from Central Africa, had never heard of it. Then I realized how little I knew about the origins of Halloween. It's a holiday that my family always celebrated and I have at least 10 costumes that my mom made for me as a child, but I didn't know the origins until today.
I taught my lesson on passive verbs and returned to the concept of Halloween at the end of class. We watched this video about the origins of Halloween. Then we discussed Halloween. We discussed that it was a really old tradition and that the students might hear "Trick or Treat" tonight. But there were a lot of questions. We dove in and answered as many as we could, but one student asked me, "Do you believe in Halloween?"
Belief in the holiday isn't really something that I have ever associated with Halloween. I was the cool aunt that first got my niece her first-ever monkey costume for Halloween. It was a good investment. At least two kids got good use out of it, and it was warm enough. It even came complete with a banana. Does that mean I believe in the holiday?
We've taken our children trick-or-treating every year. We've done the trunk-or-treats. We've done not so scary Halloween parties, and one Halloween we were even at Disney World with our oldest. Does that mean I believe in the holiday?
I bought candy for trick-or-treaters and set it on my porch. I used to give out full-size candy bars (at my husband's request). We used to have an extensively decorated house at Halloween. But does that mean I believe in Halloween?
I believe in traditions, but each year, I want to do less with Halloween. This year, I didn't even know what my son wanted to be for Halloween until tonight - and then he changed his mind. He went from being Olaf to being a bumblebee (the insect, not the Transformer). You can read about how #imomsohard on Halloween here.
For me to believe in Halloween, I think I want to have a Holy Evening. After all, that's where the name comes from Hallow means Holy and -een means evening. For me to have a Holy Evening, I definitely don't want to take my kids trick-or-treating, or dress up in a witch costume. I want to sit down with my feet up and watch a movie, or get a jump-start on NaNoWriMo (For those of you unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a novel in 30 days). In essence, I want to hibernate away from the darkness - not be out in it.
Leave a comment about whether or not you believe in Halloween.